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Jennifer Smith – the rest of the story

Here’s an update on Jennifer Smith’s story.  You may recall her harrowing return trip from Guatemala to her son Christopher after her ex-husband suddenly died.  Her life was turned upside down. Here’s what has happened since in her own words:   When I got to Kentucky (with litera…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
Here’s an update on Jennifer Smith’s story.  You may recall her harrowing return trip from Guatemala to her son Christopher after her ex-husband suddenly died.  Her life was turned upside down. Here’s what has happened since in her own words:
When I got to Kentucky (with literally the clothes on my back), Mary Beth, Erin and Mrs. Gregg (my mentor) was here to meet me! I stayed with Christopher and they got a hotel. It was a tough couple of days, as I was with “family” who never accepted me, but I was not going to leave my son’s side.

The day after the funeral, and my friends were making plans to go home. We were sitting in Cracker Barrel eating and praying about my next move. We borrowed a phone book, and opened it up. I searched for what I knew ~ church. There was an Assemblies of God campground. I thought, “Well, I was camping on the WR, I at least have a tent…”

We got to the campground, and they gave me a small wooden cabin with no heat to stay in. They also gave me an application to fill out. Here’s the cool part! One week prior to getting there, they created a position for what I now do, credentialing. Come to find out, it was the headquarters for the AG.

Mrs. Gregg had an actual vision THREE times from God that I was about to walk through the some difficult times and God was not going to deliver me, but He would be there the whole time.

It was just me and God. Everything had happened so fast that I never had the opportunity to just ask God ~ why? I hadn’t grieved or even cried past the point of finding out about Jerry’s death. I was quickly becoming numb.

After a few weeks of being in KY, I was able to get an apartment, only to sleep on the floor for a while. I had sold everything to go on the mission field. I had a little bit of personal items in storage in Florida and no way to get them. Eventually, some close friends brought me my stuff.

I wanted so badly to leave… just leave. I got sued for custody of my son and LOST! It was ridiculous! Normally, I am the happiest person on earth. However, depression kicked in. I did not know how to fight this. I have NEVER been depressed… oppressed, but not depressed.

I read my Bible. I prayed. I fasted. I cried. I begged. I visited home, and dozens of my friends, including my pastor, surrounded me and laid hands on me and prayed over me. Finally, the unrelenting diligence of not giving up kicked in too. I felt the depression lift.

I took some time off and went to Thailand on a mission trip. It was the most amazing time of my life! I was able to get closure with my team since I had left the WR so abruptly. I then teamed with a girl, Amanda, to work the Red Light District. I set aside all the cares of the world that were anxiously waiting for my arrival back to the states and just let my heart break for what breaks God’s.

Christopher and I set aside a couple to of times a week just to hang out. We would go to the movies, eat dinner or just hang. We grew closer and closer, allowing God to heal years of hurt from our pasts. Certainly, I could see this happening, and I would dig into prayer for our relationship. I had no requirements or expectations of Christopher, nor did he have any of me. We just earnestly loved each other. 

Fast forward a year. My son and I were riding in my car going to the grocery store. He said to me, “Mom, I don’t want you to get your hopes up, but I think I would like to move in with you.” OMG! My heart was pounding out of my chest. I was ecstatic!

Christopher and mine’s relationship is completely healed. We are extremely open with one another. We eat together; we watch tv; we wrestle; we play; we pray. We have long and in-depth talks about Jesus and the calls on both of our lives. He invites me places and brings his friends over all the time. I go to everyone of his concerts and functions. I’ve missed so many throughout the years. We watch football games together ~ CONGRATS Florida Gators!!!! (We’re from Gainesville originally.)

Christopher said the words my ears have LONGED to hear… “Mom, I am so glad you are not so religious and controlling. You are the greatest mom on earth, and I love you.”

God has done so much in the last two years! Wow, I can’t believe it’s been that long! Besides the total restoration of my family, He has blessed me with other provisions as well. I have completed 14 Bible courses, preached in 2 women’s prisons, 2 public schools, multiple churches and still going on mission trips!

In the fall of this year, my son will begin his adventure at college. It is a bitter-sweet feeling. I feel like I just got him back, yet there’s a fire shut up in my bones just waiting to go back into full-time ministry. But I still put my trust in God and I will let Him guide me and direct my steps. Meanwhile, I am going to enjoy EVERY minute with my son while I can.

Comments (12)

  • An amazing story – thanks for sharing the encouragement.
    I can see in the picture that Christopher has a OCHS t-shirt on – I am a 1986 (!) grad growing up in Oldham County.

    We serve a sovereign God…Wow!

    I will pray that God would continue to guide your steps and you would be obedient to whatever he calls you to.

  • I have often wondered about the rest of this story. I have not met you, Jennifer, but my heart and prayers have gone out to you when I get reports of you. This story brings me to tears. This is who our God is and what He does! Bless you for persevering in trust and obedience, for persevering through suffering. You are a trophy of His!

  • Oh Jen! I just cried reading your story! And God never restores us just back to the way things were before, but rather to DOUBLE PORTIONS!!!

  • What can I say, my lovely friend? The more I hear of your story, the more there is to thank God for. Love ya!

    Thanks for passing this on, Seth. It makes excellent reading. xx

  • Thanks Seth and thanks everyone else. I could not have made it without your prayers and your love!!!!! jenny and talia – YOU ARE DA BOMB!

    Brett – how cooool!!! My son loves his school!

    Seth, I am sooo grateful for you! Your family, your life, your ministry! I do believe you have been a huge part of what “is” shaping my life. May the Lord pour out sooo many blessings on you!

  • Jennifer, thank you so much for posting this. It is so good to hear what God has been doing. I can’t imagine what all you have been through since you left us, but I can see that it was worth it all. I’m so glad you finally get to be mom.

    I’ve been thinking back to our conversation in Thailand lately, so it is good timing to get this update from you. I would love to have lunch or something if you ever make it to GA. I pray blessings of abundance over you and Christopher, and healing and restoration for you WHOLE family.

  • WOW Jen,

    God has begun such a GREAT work in YOU!! God not only restores you, but He uses you as well. I am glad our lives intersected when they did…He is truly a great God with perfect timing who knows all things…to Him be the glory and honor forever and ever amen!! You will always be a part of my story!!

    May God Continue to Bless!!

  • So glad you’re my friend, Jennifer!! And grateful for all the our Father does and continues to do in and through you. You are His handiwork :-).

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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